Sisters, Oregon (Part II)

Ok, let's see... After Calliope Crossing I returned to town to find the Pinyon Jays.  I finally located some in a lot across the street from the Best Western.

Most of them seemed rather gray, so probably still juveniles...

In the same lot with the jays was a Hairy Woodpecker... I saw tons of them on my trip, including one that insisted on drumming on a tree next to my tent from dawn till dusk. 

Sunday morning I decided to drive the same forest road I had explored the previous morning.  I hadn't gotten very far when I saw a flash of black and white fly across the road.  I slammed the car into park and dashed (that's right, I dashed) into the woods after it.  I am so glad I did...

Hell yeah!  A White-headed Woodpecker!  This was the number one bird I had hoped to find on this trip!  I was sooooo excited, but sad when he flew off deep into the woods.  I kept driving up the road, stopping to check out some Warbling Vireos, Fox Sparrows, Chipping Sparrows, and such.

This Fox Sparrow had his mouth full of something.  Around this time I took the dogs for a little walk down a dirt road.  I looked down the hill at one point and saw something moving quickly through the manzanita.  Couldn't see its legs, only its back.  The sun was behind it.  I cursed and ran the dogs all the way back to the car.  Still don't know what it was, but it was bigger than a bobcat, not a deer, and too far south for sasquatch.  Got my adrenaline going, whatever it was.

Further up the road an Olive-sided Flycatcher was singing...

I should stop and mention how freakin beautiful it was there...

Yeah.  It was awesome.  After stopping for some coffee I headed west on Hwy 20 to look for the Metolius Preserve.  I finally found the unmarked forest road that leads there.  The preserve itself was not too birdy for me- just Mountain Chickadees and some deer.  But the drive back to the highway was great...

A Cooper's Hawk was sitting in the bright sunshine near the preserve:

At the top of one of the pine trees were some Red Crossbills, a first for me...

Too bad they were so high up and in front of the sun...  I stopped to walk around a small burned area and found a Cassin's Finch:

He seemed to have no problem hanging out with some Chipping Sparrows...

The area adjacent to the burned area was soooo beautiful... There were some mighty tall trees there...

After leaving this area I headed to the Round Lake Loop just a bit further west.  It's a ten mile loop through mostly burned forest.  Never saw the lake.  Didn't see many birds either.  But it was gorgeous...

I stopped at the highest point to eat some crackers and force the dogs to take a family picture.

I had such an amazing time there!  Six new birds, plus several I had only seen once before!  Woohoo!  A very special thank you to Rhett Wilkins for all of the helpful advice, and John Rakestraw's Birding Oregon too!


  1. OH what a place! The scenery is Spectacular! Great shots congrats on the White Head!! Super Cooper shot and what a great family shot fit for Framing!!!

  2. Looks like a great trip! So many different birds than we get in the valley. I like the family photo. Glad you didn't get eaten by the mystery animal.

  3. Awesome trip! Good to see the mountains were visible.

  4. Congrats on a great trip, Jen!

    Also, and without knowing if or how you list, your Fox Sparrow should be of the Slate-colored variety!

  5. Mmmm...Pinyon Jays. Love the high-elevation birds. I still remember shartign myself the first time I found a Williamson's. No regrets.

  6. When I was reading through the great trip that you went on, I got to the White-headed Woodpecker and said "what?" You find so many birds that I have never heard of and have to look up. Love it!

  7. I LOVE Eastern and central Oregon. I don't get there enough and have never seen a Williamson's Sapsucker so I am v v v jealous. Glad you had a good time!

  8. So cool! You should check out the guzzler's at the Cabin Lake campground next time you are out that way...we combined a camping trip along the Metolius River last year with a night or two at Cabin Lake. Lots of cool birds show up at the guzzlers.

  9. Wow, what a great trip. Congrats on 6 new birds and a bunch of great pics!


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